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The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,366 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,366
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 819
Gots: 465 | FT: 69
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Habmike on 12-08-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,366 | Reviews: 246
Reviews by tjkinate:
More User Reviews:
Photo of M_chav
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - pours a deep black, small golden head forms -less than 1/4" - nice lacing
S - Damn, straight honey to the face - thick deep honey its strong and inviting - tons of chocolate
T - Holy hell this is thick, full body molasses/honey goodness. everything you want in an imperial barrel aged stout - vanilla cream, hazelnut coffee creamer was added, its must have been. Amazing!
F - Super smooth, coates the throat with honey. good for a cold, or a winter night, or anytime, this is great.
O - Surprisingly underrated in my opinion, this would stand right up against the bourbon county lineup if they made a honey/chocolate varient.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enough of the barrel aged stouts out there. this is a sort of shut up and sit down to the millions of wannabes out there. i absolutely love this one. its rich and frothy in looks, dense and dark, and with a nose that is just insane. toasted coconut, cocoa, vanilla, dry chalky grain, and a whiskey smoothness thats incredible. love that its under ten percent abv too, which is great, allows me to drink a bunch of this. a real cool nuttiness too, almond and hazelnut, lasting, and going brilliantly with the whiskey complexion. rich lathery feel, lasting forever in the finish, but not ever really getting all that heavy. this is my first and only beer ive ever had from these guys, and the hype is real, i mean, this thing is just insane. as layered as anything, its as close to as intensely flavored as the bruery big ones like black tuesday and its relatives. half the abv or less, but such a dynamic beer. chocolate in the finish, oaky, memorable. i want a mainline of this one. one of the few beers where its as good or better as the masses say. a must

Photo of MANix73
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

The only beer I've had that's better is Bourbon County Stout. If you enjoy BBA beers & Imperial Stout, this is a must have!

Photo of LeeEvolved
4.99/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this year's version last night and I gotta say it just may be a Top 10 beer for me. The honey sweetens it just enough to let the bourbon barrel come through at the end and at 8.5% this thing is so very drinkable it's almost unbelievable. Great beer.

Photo of oberon
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Roger over at Bestway for giving me one of his personal stash,this is one f*cking amazing beer!Poured into a snifter ink black no light getting thru this beer,a thin deep mocha colored head atop.Where to start when it come to the aromas,chocolate fudge,roasted walnut,coffee roast,just lush and rich,to me perfection.Thick and chewey feel but also creamy.Oaky/bourbon flavors mixed with sweetish chocolate and deep roast,its just as rich as all get out.This is one NC. beer worth its high rating,damn I wish I would have been able to get over there to get more,hell yeah!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Vigorous pour yields a slow pooling of brown head that eventually subsides to some major stickage on the glass. Pitch-black color. Madeira-soaked dried plums, vanilla, nougat, wood, dark chocolate and soft charcoal rush the nose ... very aromatic and mouthwatering. Slick package, fullish body unfolds slowly. More oak than vanilla-bourbon to start; lush maltiness turns roasty as quick as the oakiness pulls the palate. Light on the hops--or at least they mellowed out. Chocolate and sweetness fade quick. Slow drinking here, which helps to let the beer evolve. Very enjoyable.

Photo of ROBORB
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: On draft and from 22 oz bomber this beer pours solid black with a brown 2 inch head that fades quickly.
S: The beers smells like a bourbon stout should with dark roasted malts, chocolate, smooth bourbon and some residual molasses.
T: The taste is what does it for me with this beer. You are assaulted with the aforementioned malts and chocolate initially. The taste develops into a nice vanilla/coconut bourbon that is still holding onto the chocolate. And finally it finishes sweet with the honey and chocolate following through. These guys did a great job of making something just complex enough and not over the top that it is actually very drinkable!
M: The mouthfeel is on par with some of the best bourbon stouts that I have had. The carbonation level seems to be just right but I would still like it to be a little more viscous.
D: At 8.5 ABV and the taste not fatiguing your palate this beer is very drinkable.

Kudos to Olde Hickory for a great job on this beer, highly recommended.

Photo of marvin213
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque. It's so black it hardly looks liquid. The fuzz is a brown tan. It looks fine...like a hottie dime on the cover of Jett or Ebony. That tan head--a favorite of mine--hangs around and clings to the sides. Maybe half the black stout shines through the surface.

The nose is oaky bourbon. Even cold it's one of the most bourbon barrely beer I've ever smelt. In contrast to the alcoholic bourbon of a bold GI BCS, it's a wet, oaky bourbon--it's like smelling a 2 x 4 that's been sitting in a chocolate-malted Buffalo Trace barrel. That's the bourbon, right? I don't know how to make a BA stout smell better.

It tastes and feels rich. There's an abundant sweetness: honey and chocolate and bourbon. It's like decadent, but nearly overwhelming. Has the beer been sitting in barrels since the last bottling? It's heavy like that. The feel teeters on cordial. I'm glad everybody's fired up about this one. I'd say it's the Carolinas Abyss! The honey adds sweetness you could counter is unnecessary, but it adds some smoothness that pulls it ahead of a BA Blackbeerd. Disclaimer: only had the BT, wish I could've tried the Beam variety. The Event Horizon is a legitimate bad ass!

Photo of beckard13
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Tap at Amos Howards

A - Pours a pitch black. A burnt caramel/khaki head that dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

N - Smell the bourbon. Also, get the hints of dark fruits, dark chocolate and the honey.

M - medium mouthfeel. There is definitely a creamy/chewy feel but maybe not quite as much as you would expect from such a big barrel aged stout.

T - The bourbon is very present up front and at the back. Combines nicely with the sweetness of the honey. Pretty roasty as well. Slight alcohol burn going down. Very nice taste.

O - Awesome barrel aged stout. Very drinkable. Combines all of the flavors excellently. If you enjoy large stouts and barrel aged stouts, this is a must try.

Photo of mverity
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep inky black with a medium chocolaty head that faded within 45 seconds into a medium collar and wisps at the surface. Aroma is dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, some charred earth, some wine-like must. Taste is earthy and roasty at the front, some dark chocolate in the middle, and some wine must at the end. The honey really plays well in the aftertaste. Thick rich body and medium carbonation.

Photo of Soonami
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewerDan23 for generously sharing a bottle of Event Horizon at a recent tasting. I am now ISO of one, although the 900 bottle run might make it tough to get.

This beer is pitch black with mocha that quickly dissolves to a finely knit ring of lace. The aroma is earthy and mushroomy featuring the smell of freshly baked bread and a light whiff of bourbon. The beer tastes very creamy and light on the palate for a double stout. There is a hot chocolate quality to the roasted malt that isn't too harsh or astringent. It's not too sweet with a great drying oaky bourbon finish. As it warms the barrel character really comes out and you can really pick out toasted coconut.

This is a delicious beer and I guess the delicate menage of malt, roast, barrel and bourbon is helped by the low ABV that really allows the individual ingredients to shine and not be masked by the high alcohol or residual sweetness. This definitely lives up to the hype.

Photo of jeonseh
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared by leftyhyzer at NWI tasting group super bowl drinking

A - Dark chocolate color with thick body that coats the glass. Light brown on the edges with small amounts of carbonation and not head

S - Bourbon on the nose with light caramel and vanilla. Dark, roasted chocolate and slight honey

T - Sweet bourbon vanilla up front with light caramel. Light honey, roasted malt, and slight smokiness. Finish is slight roasted coffee that lingers on

MF - Light body with light bitter coffee that lingers on in the finish to create a slight astringency

O - Solid fudgy beer with chocolate and honey sweetness. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the beer overall that is unique in a stout

Photo of lanamj
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Bottle served in a Brasserie D'Achouffe tulip.

A- Pores a nice thick black color with minimal mocha colored head that resides to a perfect lace with good retention. A perfect looking stout!!

S- As I pore it i can automatically begin to smell the chocolate!! Rich malts and chocolate dominates the nose followed by beautiful bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas as well. I could smell this one all day, yankee candle needs to makes the sent happen!!! It is a perfectly balanced nose, couldn't be better IMO.

T- More bourbon then the nose. In fact i feel the flavors are reverse then the nose. The bourbon, oak and vanilla are up front, as is the honey. And the chocolate resides in the end. The chocolate lingers well. A perfect tasting stout.

M- Nice and smooth. Very silky and creamy. Carbonation is perfect for a barrel aged stout. This again can not get much better!!

O- I felt last years Event was as good as it gets... I was wrong, it's this years!! What a great beer, not as sweet and more smooth chocolate flavors. I also feel what little tang was present from oxidation is not present this year. I love this beer and Im happy I live where I do.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a deep black with a tan/brown head on top, about a finger upon pouring, which reduces to a thin cap on top. Thin lacing.

S: Some dark fruits, cherrys, plum, and raisins mixed with chocolate, bourbon, a bit of oak and vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma and fantastic. Lots of chocolate and bourbon flavors up front, a bit of brown sugar and molasses. More dark fruit in the middle mixed with a touch of honey.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Glad I was finally able to try this beer, definitely a highlight from the tasting.

Photo of tastybeer
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle.

Black beer, foamy dark brown head and nice patches of lace. Aroma is thick with leathery tobacco, dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, caramel liquor, cherries, and blueberries. Pretty fantastic. Flavor is loaded with massive amounts of chocolate, berries, bourbon, vanilla, and some orange sneaking in at the end. Sugary, sticky, alcoholic, but smooth and creamy. Very nice blankety thickness in texture. Smooth bitterness mixed with soft carbonation throughout. This is a pretty massive beer.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily viscous black with a mocha foamy head. Decent retention and spotty lacing. 

Nice nose full of chocolate brownie and dark fruit. A little bourbon. 

Flavor is quite nice. Great balance and a wide range of flavor. Nice roasted nutty notes along with mild dark fruit, bitter chocolate, molasses, mocha coffee and a touch of rich dark honey on the back end. 

Full bodied mouth. Creamy smooth medium carbonation and a little bit dry  

This is a fantastic beer. Very well executed. Great all around.   

Photo of Metalmonk
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Who can't love a beer that looks like this? Pours out a lot like other highly hyped beers like Dark Lord and Sexual Chocolate, having a toasted dark golden/bronze head and a liquid body of pure black onyx. Head doesn't last too long but comes back with a gentle swirl. Oh that mocha-bronzed head...so I keep swirling and reviving it...

Aroma is fantastic too. Not too much booze, not too much bourbon, but enough of it to give the chocolaty, coffee-like essence a shot in the arm. Big notes of graham cracker and gooey chocolate cake drizzled generously with honey. Yep, this was brewed with honey, but even if you didn't know it, you'd smell it.

I'm blown away. The flavors here are many, and they all mingle exceptionally well. Honey is prominent but never too sweet. Requisite big stout characteristics like dark roast coffee and bittersweet baking chocolate are here (some milk chocolate too). A hint of mint (is that the hops?); big graham cracker; fermented grape or, okay, wine; only a bit of bourbon and some musty wood along with it. Lots of dark fruit too, especially raisin and fig. Alcohol is nicely controlled, entwined with the bourbon flavor to give it a measure of warmth.

Texturally this is top-notch. Utterly silky, super-smooth, very creamy and gorgeously rounded, avoiding any unpleasant heaviness or stickiness.

Well this is about the best brew I've had from North Carolina, period. It even just eclipses Sexual Chocolate, the regular and barrel-aged version. Hey, 21 reviews and lowest score so far is 4.25? Believe it!

Photo of nkersten
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chad for bringing this one over, reviewed from notes. Poured into New Belgium globe, black with a mocha foamy head that fades to a collar, not a bad looking beer. Smells like bourbon, graham cracker, crusty bread, oak, lots of vanilla, slight alcohol. Interesting flavor, graham cracker crust, lots of sweet sugary malt, oak and barrel, vanilla, bourbon, slightly smokey, some bitterness, strange aftertaste sweet cherries. A strange off flavor that I cant pinpoint - maybe honey? Heavy body and light carbonation. Not bad but the strange off taste keeps me from wanting more of this one.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one after he aged it a year.

A – pitch black with a soft, short, foamy, brown head

S – roasted malts, anise, black licorice, coffee

T – roasted malts, dark fruits, burnt sugar, coffee, anise, honey, vanilla, bourbon

M – full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This is a rich and complex beer that has a fantastic flavor profile. It has depth and character. It has perfect balance and showcases little subtleties throughout. This is definitely one of the better stouts that’s out there.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Capped and waxed bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a big, black mocha head with little retention. Thick legs with spotty and sticky lace. Solid.

Boozy nose with hints of mocha, sweet soy sauce, fudge, chocolate, and molasses. Robust and very aromatic.

Sweet cocoa and mildly boozy. Chocolate, soy sauce. Finish is grainy cocoa powder and fudge. Sweet but with nice balance. Taste like it smells, which is temptingly decadent.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky and smooth going down. A touch over-carbonated which makes this one feel a bit thin at times.

Real glad to have had the chance to give this one a shot but I'm not overly impressed here. Simply a solid offering in a style that's flooded with great beers. Still worth a try for sure though.

Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split over x-mas, 2011 vintage

appearance: served in large belgian chalice, deep ebony body - thick mocha head with nice thick lace

smell: rich dark chocolate, bourbon, espresso, vanilla, caramel

taste: highly anticipated release from olde hickory, one of my favs in NC...rich decadent flavor profile - slightly bitter dark chocolate, rich but not potent bourbon, vanilla, caramel, honey in the finish. heavy roasted malt, chocolate cake, oak

mouthfeeel: creamy and rich, abv not abrasive

overall: quality stout - one of the finer beers to come out of NC

Photo of MrKennedy
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to mulder1010 for sharing this bomber. My share was poured into a Great Divide tulip style glass.

Pours a thick black, thicker than the 8.5% ABV would have you imagine. Nice mocha and tan coloured head of foam that sat at a bit above a finger and settled down well. Surprising the intense appearance of this given the strength.

Ever-changing smell, started off with dark fruits, particularly raisins and dates. Changed part of the way through to cheese, namely cheese squares and then blue cheese. This threw me in a big way, not a bad way, just couldn't believe what was coming through. In the end it settled with oak and bourbon.

The taste was more understated, more malt and even more malt, it just kept coming. Layered, perhaps a little one-dimensional at times. Later, chocolate came through and a touch of coffee very late and very faint.

Given the malt, could the mouthfeel be anything but silky smooth. This was thick, coating and very smooth.

Overall an interesting stout that defied the specs on a number of fronts. Lovely and smooth, it was amazing in the way that the smell continued to change throughout. The taste was a little downer and it was a big tasting beer, taking us 45 mins or more to share a bottle. The mouthfeel was very impressive. Some great parts and some parts that whilst not great, were still quite good.

Photo of Crass3000
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black as night with a nice small brown head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is nice chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, and a tiny bit of dark fruits. Taste is just as amazing. Awesome chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, and a really nice tiny hint of bourbon in the background.

Photo of aleckpa
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 32 oz. growler from Hops and Grapes in Hickory, North Carolina.

A: Black like motor oil. There is a small burnt mocha head that goes away quickly However, there’s great lacing. Can’t see anything through it.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, oak, and of course some bourbon This is a really good smelling beer. A lot of the flavors are subtle, but complex. All the scents come out as the beer warms.

T: Front of the tongue, I taste the bourbon, back of the tongue I get the flavors I smelled. The vanilla, chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Also get some honey. There is some alcohol burn, which surprised me at 8.5%, but it isn't bad. Regardless, it is dangerously easily drinkable.

M: Creamy, smooth, and full bodied. Not too thick, well balanced. Feel some of the tingle on your tongue from the carbonation.

O: This is easily my favorite offerings from Olde Hickory. I think it is well balanced with a lot of complexities. It tastes even better as it warms. I highly recommend it.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black with no head. A few discrete bubbles on the surface and a stray wisp.

Smell - Oaky with some bourbon. Not too intense. Deep chocolate.

Taste - Fudgy. Lots of dark chocolate to this stout. Fresh bourbon flavor. Two distinct flavors that I like. Could be a bit better integrated, though. Lends an unrefined alcohol flavor and a hot finish.

Mouthfeel - The barrel heat lasts long after the stout. Boozy for its size with medium carbonation.

Overall - Hot barrel, but the stout stands up pretty well.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,366 ratings.